There come certain points in life when we have to do a little re-evaluation of who we are and where we are going. After some discussions within the team, we came to the conclusion that we are stopping the UNIA development on THIS platform.
These are the opening words from a heartfelt post from Kiana Writer, founder and Queen Pea of the prolific MadPea Productions.
Entitled MadPea Changes its Strategy, the post, which appears on the MadPea Productions website, rather than their wordPress blog, announces a change in direction for the team in light of the sheer hard work, blood, sweat and tears they collectively invested in UNIA, as they continue to develop immersive games for Second Life.
As Kiana notes, UNIA was a massive undertaking for all concerned, which came a no small cost, some US $12,000 to put together and over two years to develop. Plus, as Kiana states:
During the development for UNIA we lost our sponsor and exactly 19 people from the huge team, including our lead developer for MadPea of several years,” Kiana explains. “Still we struggled with a smaller team and big expenses to bring it out because our vision had not changed: We needed to show what was possible to do on this platform.
Given this, and while UNIA continues to gain new players on a weekly basis and continues to excite and enthral, it’s really hard to justify such an enormous effort on an ongoing basis, and Kiana goes on to indicate in her post:
With our current resources we could do either one of the two things: Continue developing the UNIA saga or put our focus on smaller adventures such as BURIED and The Collection. Making smaller adventures takes us around 2 months while UNIA 2 would be at least 6 more months of waiting.
So it is that going forward, MadPea will be focused on “smaller” games (I use the quotes as such is the all-encompassing, grid-wide nature of many of their games, nothing MadPea does is ever really “small”), which can be developed over shorter times scales. In particular, such games will allow MadPea to better collaborate with and help promote businesses and content creators in Second Life, just as The Collection is right now, and both BURIED and Blood Letters.
In this regard, Kiana indicates that the rest of 2015 is already mapped out by the team. The Collection (which I recently looked at here), will run through until the end of September, prior to making way for a new game starting in October and in time for Halloween (dare I mention…. Peatonville?).
To me, the decision from the team makes absolute sense. While UNIA was and is undoubtedly a magnificent achievement, Second life at times doesn’t really lend itself to projects of that scale or depth. However, games like The Collection, BURIED and Blood Letters not only allow MadPea to achieve their goal of collaborating with others more readily, they also enable the team to experience a greater degree of satisfaction in seeing their creations come to life and be enjoyed by others.
My only question to Kiana is, why the emphasis on UNIA’s development ceasing on “THIS platform” (i.e. Second Life)? Is there yet more news to be a-coming? :D.